As I recently discovered and read life means also nothingness not only important things but who feels like dealing with them when everyone wants a meaningful life?
Albert Einstein when travelling to United States met James Ensor and asked him what he was painting and the latter said nothing. How is it to paint nothing?
What impressed me at the exhibition Intrigue curated by Luc Tuymans was Ensor’s subjects and the surreal in his painting. From vegetables to self portait skelton, from maskerade characters to grotesque ones, from evil to falling angels and chinoiseries observed in his childhood maybe in the shop his parents owned in Ostend.The collection is vivid and dressed in masked ball accessories, ostrich feathers and colourful jack pudding like faces to blurred dark flemish portraits of relatives, dead catch of the North Sea catch and gross sequences of life.
The poster and the name of the exhibition was given by the painting with the same name, Intrigue. For me represents this particular period of time of my life when I’m intrigued as well by the clowns and masks on peoples’ faces and thinking that we all want to get meaning out of life. Our efforts sometimes make us ridiculous and our struggle make us look clowns of our own attempts in trying to draw attention and impress. We try to streghten a position in our company or impose ouselves in front of an audience, the excess of enthusiasm is transforming the surplus into a maskerade. The saturation with growth and exuberance sometimes leads to decadence of a trend or society. When too much becomes striking and banishes the natural it becomes unatural. When comic exceeds the norms it attires the satire, laughter brings buffonery and grotesque.
Vegetables on a canvass, skeletons in masked ball costumes are creating a surreal world with fantastic characters.
I really enjoyed this exhibition held at Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House.